Center for American Progress

How Amazon, the NFL, and Trump get rich off a tax break that’s supposed to help poor people
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How Amazon, the NFL, and Trump get rich off a tax break that’s supposed to help poor people

Authors Olugbenga Ajilore and Rejane Frederick describe how Amazon has exploited the Opportunity Zones program—a tax benefit intended to revitalize and address the needs of low-income communities.

It’s official! Amazon’s much-anticipated second headquarters are coming to Arlington County, Va., and Queens, N.Y., and with it the promised infusion of $5 billion dollars’ worth of investments, the creation of more than 50,000 jobs, and scores of new high-income residents across the two regions. A torrid end to a year-long search that saw communities across the country engaged in a subsidy arms race, vying to be crowned the coveted second “campus” location.

Now, as the confetti settles and those living in and around the future HQ2 sites begin to reflect on how their lives and communities will change. Questions are now being raised over whether the shrouded incentives used to lure Amazon (AMZN, -0.03%) to Virginia and New York will be worth the hefty taxpayer bill, just how much local officials promised, coupled with a growing recognition that the behemoth could also take advantage of a federal tax benefit program meant for economically distressed communities known as Opportunity Zones.

The above excerpt was originally published in MarketWatch. Click here to view the full article.

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Authors

Olugbenga Ajilore

Senior Economist

Rejane Frederick

Associate Director, Poverty to Prosperity Program